SXSW continues to promote original voices in film

South by Southwest , a cultural festival held every March in Austin, may have grabbed headlines this year for its keynote speech from whistleblower Edward Snowden. But SXSW is much more than a soapbox. Each year, the SXSW Film Festival hosts upcoming independent talent, debuting feature films and documentaries from newcomers in the industry. Not … Continue reading “SXSW continues to promote original voices in film”

South by Southwest , a cultural festival held every March in Austin, may have grabbed headlines this year for its keynote speech from whistleblower Edward Snowden. But SXSW is much more than a soapbox. Each year, the SXSW Film Festival hosts upcoming independent talent, debuting feature films and documentaries from newcomers in the industry. Not all of the highlighted filmmakers go on to big careers and future successes, but the talent is always worth checking out.

It’s far too early to say whether any this year’s films are the next big thing, but SXSW has a good track record. Many successful movies, including the first work by Girls creator Lena Dunham, debuted at SXSW. Many of the selections, like Best Worst Movie and Winnebago Man, err on the edgy, unusual side that SXSW specializes in. But if that means that this festival has become a haven for new, alternative voices in film, all the better.

The AU Library’s film collection includes a number of notable world debuts from SXSW, from war crimes documentary War Don Don to nerd anathema outlet The People vs. George Lucas. Come check them out before SXSW ends this Sunday!

Brooklyn Castle – HU DVD 2826
Beware of Mr. Baker – HU DVD 4400
Kumaré – HU DVD 6716
Garbage Dreams – DVD 7149
I Love You, Man – HU DVD 7778*
 Best Worst Movie – HU DVD 7880
Marwencol – DVD 8347
Barbershop Punk – HU DVD 9245
Tiny Furniture – HU DVD 9713
War Don Don – DVD 10095
The People vs. George Lucas – HU DVD 10241
The Cabin in the Woods – HU DVD 10724
Where Soldiers Come From – DVD 10604
Winnebago Man – HU DVD 11171
Short Term 12 – HU DVD 11178
Wikileaks: Secrets and Lies – Streaming video

SXSW 2013 continues a tradition of fine film

It’s spring break here at American University, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of the world is on pause. Austin is currently hosting South by Southwest (SXSW), an annual film/music/silly cat festival that attracts big names in media. SXSW festival entrants have launched careers, won top Oscars, and made people look at the world … Continue reading “SXSW 2013 continues a tradition of fine film”

It’s spring break here at American University, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of the world is on pause. Austin is currently hosting South by Southwest (SXSW), an annual film/music/silly cat festival that attracts big names in media. SXSW festival entrants have launched careers, won top Oscars, and made people look at the world differently. Or at they very least, they’ve been entertaining.

In the spirit of SXSW’s credo of being a “destination of discovery,” here is a list of films shown or premiered at SXSW. It’s an eclectic mix of niche documentaries and big feature films that’s worth exploring.

This Film is Not Yet Rated – DVD 2414
Undefeated – HU DVD 3068
The Horse Boy – HU DVD 3783
Knocked Up – HU DVD 4166
By Hook or By Crook – HU DVD 4353
The Price of Sugar – DVD 6261
The Hurt Locker – HU DVD 6762
Garbage Dreams – DVD 7149
Winnebago Man – HU DVD 7958
Kick-Ass – HU DVD 8005
Blue Valentine – DVD 8296
Marwencol – DVD 8347
Bridesmaids – HU DVD 9104
Tiny Furniture – HU DVD 9713
War Don Don – DVD 10095
Drag Me to Hell – HU DVD 10122
A Mighty Wind – HU DVD 10218
Weekend – DVD 10364
Where Soldiers Come From – DVD 10604
The Cabin in the Woods – HU DVD 10724
Killer Joe – HU DVD 10876
Before the Music Dies – MUSIC LIBRARY DVD 158

Relive last year’s Sundance with 2012 notables

The Sundance Film Festival is underway! It’ll be some time before we know what films will come out with good deals or publicity, but suffice to say, the spotlight has never been brighter on Park City. 2012 festival favorite Beasts of the Southern Wild recently received multiple Academy Award nominations, including for Best Picture and … Continue reading “Relive last year’s Sundance with 2012 notables”

The Sundance Film Festival is underway! It’ll be some time before we know what films will come out with good deals or publicity, but suffice to say, the spotlight has never been brighter on Park City. 2012 festival favorite Beasts of the Southern Wild recently received multiple Academy Award nominations, including for Best Picture and Best Director, leaving many to wonder if they’ll find the next big thing at Sundance this year.

Last year certainly turned out a few notable movies, many of which are in our collection. Several have been nominated for major awards as well.

The Ambassador – HU DVD 10722
Arbitrage – HU DVD 10864
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry – HU DVD 10873
Beasts of the Southern Wild – HU DVD 10813
The Invisible War – HU DVD 10567
Putin’s Kiss – HU DVD 10885
The Queen of Versailles – HU DVD 4553
Safety Not Guaranteed – HU DVD 10874
Compliance – HU DVD 10905
Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap – MUSIC LIBRARY DVD 349

DC Shorts Film Festival opens tomorrow

For the second time in a week, two significant film festivals are kicking off. Perhaps the most significant is the Toronto International Film Festival, which opens tomorrow and will premiere a number of film on the radar for the upcoming award season. More interestingly for the audience of this blog, the DC Shorts Film Festival … Continue reading “DC Shorts Film Festival opens tomorrow”

For the second time in a week, two significant film festivals are kicking off. Perhaps the most significant is the Toronto International Film Festival, which opens tomorrow and will premiere a number of film on the radar for the upcoming award season.

More interestingly for the audience of this blog, the DC Shorts Film Festival also opens tomorrow! DC Shorts is entering ninth year and will premiere over 100 films from across the globe. Tickets to screenings are relatively inexpensive, hovering around $12 per screening, or $125 for a festival pass. If you’re in the DC area and a fan of world cinema, take advantage of such a large festival going on in the DC area.

Even if you’re not, DC Shorts also offers to stream the festival selections online through your computer or smartphone for a small fee. If you’re interested, there really isn’t much of an excuse at this point.

Two film festivals with very different audiences

Today marks the start of the Venice Film Festival, the oldest international film festival. Though smaller than notable rivals such as Cannes and Sundance, the Venice Film Festival is getting attention this year by premiering new movies from award magnets Paul Thomas Anderson and Terrence Malick. Some might call it the start of the Oscar … Continue reading “Two film festivals with very different audiences”

Today marks the start of the Venice Film Festival, the oldest international film festival. Though smaller than notable rivals such as Cannes and Sundance, the Venice Film Festival is getting attention this year by premiering new movies from award magnets Paul Thomas Anderson and Terrence Malick. Some might call it the start of the Oscar season; in any event, it’s sure to debut some thought-provoking films.

Which brings us to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Tomorrow, the Walker debuts the world’s first Internet Cat Video Film Festival, which, it should be clarified, is a real thing that is actually happening. The hour-long festival will be preceded by something identified only as the “Death Metal Drawing Club.”

In a way, these festivals embody the immense scope of film. One celebrates the auteurs of a traditional art form, while the other pushes the definition of film as a social experiment. Arguably, they’re two great tastes that taste well together.

Filmfest DC begins Thursday, April 12 and runs through Sunday, April 22!!

Welcome to Filmfest DC: April 12 – 22 The 26th Annual Washington, DC International Film Festival…for people who love movies! Featured this year will be: The Lighter Side – A series of international comedies. Politics isn’t the only funny thing in Washington. Caribbean Journeys – New films from Jamaica, Cuba, Trinidad & Tobago, the Dominican … Continue reading “Filmfest DC begins Thursday, April 12 and runs through Sunday, April 22!!”

Welcome to Filmfest DC: April 12 – 22

The 26th Annual Washington, DC International Film Festival…for people who love movies! Featured this year will be:

  • The Lighter Side – A series of international comedies. Politics isn’t the only funny thing in Washington.
  • Caribbean Journeys – New films from Jamaica, Cuba, Trinidad & Tobago, the Dominican Republic and more.
  • Justice Matters – A series exploring issues of social justice.

Advance Tickets Now On Sale

Opening Night: April 12

Starbuck (Canada), directed by Ken Scott

As seen on the Filmfest DC website. For a list of theaters, showtimes, and more info, check out FilmfestDC.org

The 2012 New African Film Festival begins Thursday (and runs from March 8 – 13)

AFI Silver Hosts the 8th Annual New African Films FestivalThursday, March 8 – Tuesday, March 13AFI Silver Theatre8633 Colesville Road Silver Spring, MD 20910Get ticketsAFI Silver is proud to host the 8th annual New African Films Festival, co-presented by AFI, TransAfrica and afrikafé. The vibrancy of African filmmaking from all corners of the continent is … Continue reading “The 2012 New African Film Festival begins Thursday (and runs from March 8 – 13)”

AFI Silver Hosts the 8th Annual New African Films Festival
Thursday, March 8 – Tuesday, March 13
AFI Silver Theatre
8633 Colesville Road
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Get tickets

AFI Silver is proud to host the 8th annual New African Films Festival, co-presented by AFI, TransAfrica and afrikafé. The vibrancy of African filmmaking from all corners of the continent is on display in this year’s acclaimed selections.

To see the entire schedule, visit AFI’s New African Film Festival site.

MAMA AFRICA
Opening night: Thu, Mar 8, 7:00
Opening night tickets $12/$10 AFI Members
Additional screening: Mon, Mar 12, 9:20

The late, great singer Miriam Makeba (1932–2008) was one of the most charismatic African performers of her time. At the height of her popularity in Africa, Makeba boldly took a public anti-apartheid stand that led to the revocation of her passport and the beginning of a lifetime in exile. Director Mika Kaurismäki uncovers stunning archival footage that offers a rare glimpse into Makeba’s personal life, highlighting the admiration and gratitude that she felt for Harry Belafonte, who managed her career in the United States. This documentary reveals private moments which illuminate this legendary artist’s political activism. Official Selection, 2011 AFI Fest presented by Audi. – Courtesy of AFI Fest presented by Audi

DIR/SCR/PROD Mika Kaurismäki; SCR/PROD Don Edkins; PROD Rainer Kölmel. Finland/Germany/South Africa, 2011, color/b&w, 90 min. In English and French with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Mama Africa trailer

Mama Africa – Miriam Makeba from trigon-film on Vimeo.

To see the entire schedule, visit AFI’s New African Film Festival site.

Excerpted from the AFI Silver site.

The 7th Annual Spring 2012 Film Series – Wechsler Theater, 3rd Floor, Mary Graydon Center

AU’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking and Filmmakers for Conservation Present:The 7th Annual Spring 2012 Film Series – February 7 – April 3, 2012Hosted by Chris Palmer and Justine Schmidt Wechsler Theater, 3rd Floor, Mary Graydon CenterAmerican University4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016-8017Directions: http://www.american.edu/maps/Metro: Tenleytown/AU, shuttle bus service to AU Free and Open to the … Continue reading “The 7th Annual Spring 2012 Film Series – Wechsler Theater, 3rd Floor, Mary Graydon Center”





AU’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking and Filmmakers for Conservation Present:
The 7th Annual Spring 2012 Film Series –
February 7 – April 3, 2012
Hosted by Chris Palmer and Justine Schmidt

Wechsler Theater, 3rd Floor, Mary Graydon Center
American University
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016-8017
Directions: http://www.american.edu/maps/
Metro: Tenleytown/AU, shuttle bus service to AU

Free and Open to the Public
No Reservation Required

For more information, please contact:
Chris Palmer 202-885-3408 or palmer@american.edu

Or visit environmentalfilm.org or filmmakersforconservation.org

Tuesday, February 7 at 7 pm

Shark Week with Executive Producer Brooke Runnette

Brooke Runnette, the key person behind Discovery Channel’s famed Shark Week annual event, will show clips while explaining why Shark Week is so successful, what is does for shark conservation, and the challenges she faces in producing the programs.

Tuesday, February 14 at 7 pm

Defending Eden: Indigenous People, Conservation and Film

How storytelling over multiple media platforms might enable Ecuador’s Waorani people to defend their biologically rich territory from the incursion of industry. Filmmakers Keith Heyward and Jennifer Berglund of Prehensile Productions will discuss their film and their experience as new environmental filmmakers trying to hang on to their values in a competitive industry.

To see the the rest of the schedule go to: environmentalfilm.org

Sundance unveils dramatic, doc competition slate

Filly Brown “Filly Brown” – Directed by Youssef Delara and Michael D. Olmos, written by Delara. A Mexican girl achieves musical fame while coping with her mother’s incarceration in this hip-hop-driven drama. Features Lou Diamond Phillips, Gina Rodriguez, Jenni Rivera and Edward James Olmos. For Ellen “For Ellen” – Directed and written by So Yong … Continue reading “Sundance unveils dramatic, doc competition slate”

Filly Brown

“Filly Brown” – Directed by Youssef Delara and Michael D. Olmos, written by Delara. A Mexican girl achieves musical fame while coping with her mother’s incarceration in this hip-hop-driven drama. Features Lou Diamond Phillips, Gina Rodriguez, Jenni Rivera and Edward James Olmos.

For Ellen


“For Ellen” – Directed and written by So Yong Kim. A struggling musician fights his estranged wife for custody of their young daughter. With Paul Dano, Jon Heder, Jena Malone, Margarita Levieva, Shay Mandigo.

Keep the Lights On

“Keep the Lights On” – Directed by Ira Sachs, written by Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias. Two men share a passionate long-term relationship in this fact-inspired drama. With Thure Lindhart, Zachary Booth, Julianne Nicholson, Souleymane Sy Savane, Paprika Steen.


The Comedy

“The Comedy” – Directed by Rick Alverson, written by Alverson, Robert Donne and Colm O’Leary. An aging hipster searches for meaning in a world that values status, popularity and good looks above all else. Stars Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, Kate Lyn Sheil, Alexia Rasmussen, Gregg Turkington.

Excerpted from Variety
“I’m almost starting to think a bad economy makes for better artists,” John Cooper noted as he unveiled the lineup of the 28th annual Sundance Film Festival, marking his third year as director of America’s premier independent-cinema event. “When things start to get crazy, it’s actually good for them. They start making the films they want to make.”

Certainly the economic slump has had little impact on the numbers. Set to unspool Jan. 19-29 in Park City, Utah, Sundance will present 111 features (88 of them world premieres) culled from a pool of 4,042 submissions; given that last year the fest received fewer submissions (3,812) yet accommodated more titles (115), the selection process can be termed the most competitive in recent memory. Packages and passes have sold out as quickly as ever, and sponsorship has held steady, director of programming Trevor Groth said. Read more here.
Excerpted from Variety

Horrible Movie Clichés Campaign by NY International Latino Film Festival

The New York International Latino Film Festival has launched an insightful and clever infographic campaign pointing out the differences between “movies” and “films”, the latter being what they serve up, naturally. These graphics humorously illustrate a multitude of horrible movie clichés and were created to promote their film festival which begins August 15, 2011 in … Continue reading “Horrible Movie Clichés Campaign by NY International Latino Film Festival”










The New York International Latino Film Festival has launched an insightful and clever infographic campaign pointing out the differences between “movies” and “films”, the latter being what they serve up, naturally. These graphics humorously illustrate a multitude of horrible movie clichés and were created to promote their film festival which begins August 15, 2011 in New York City. Wing, a pro-Hispanic full-service marketing communications firm, created the graphics in both English and Spanish.

As see on the Laughing Squid blog.